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Team North Carolina - 2018 USA Games July 3, 2018

Team NC athletes excel on first day of competition!

The first day of competition at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games came bright and early for Team NC on Monday, July 2.

Jamal Hughes and Anna Coleman from Team NC athletics took to the track for the 100m semi-final and the 5000m final, respectively. Both athletes had to shake off a few nerves before speeding their way to the finish line.

“I was in lane 7 and all I could think was that I wanted to win the race,” explained Hughes. “I think I did perfect!”

Team NC’s first shot at a medal came courtesy of Anna Coleman and her 5000m run.

“My sides started to hurt a bit, but I pushed through it,” said Coleman.

The Orange County athlete battled fierce competition throughout the long race, but her training paid off as she crossed the finish line in second, winning a silver medal.

Coleman was not the only Team NC athlete to find her way to the medal podium. Additional Team NC final results are:

•Jamal Hughes - bronze medal, 100m high performance

•AJ Spaeth - silver medal, 100m dash

•Alex Martel-Matt - 4th place ribbon, 100m dash

•Kristen Massey - 7th place ribbon, running long jump

•Randy Talbot - 7th place ribbon, 25m backstroke

•Annie Van Zandt - bronze medal, 25m backstroke

•Karen Hendrix - 8th place ribbon, bowling singles

•Rachel Murrell - gold medal, bowling singles

•Julia Whitesides - silver medal, bowling singles

•Cameron Wilson - silver medal, bowling singles

Zach Goodrich steps his way to the top!

Team NC athlete finishes in the Top 10 nationwide for the USA Games step challenge

There are 2,877 miles between Raleigh and Seattle. Over the past six months, Zach Goodrich has walked more than half of them. That active lifestyle led him to place in the top 10 nationwide in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games step challenge, for which he was recognized on July 2.

“At first, it wasn’t really a choice! In addition to training (for USA Games), I have two very active jobs and the steps started adding up. But then I started to push myself and try and get more steps each day.”

Push himself he did, amassing more than 3.4 million steps in just half a year.

And now that the step challenge has come to end, Goodrich is going to take a break, right? Maybe not.

“I think I should keep it up!”

Special Olympics changes everything for Chase Stroud

Team NC bocce athlete finds new purpose with organization

After winning his second bocce game of the day, Chase Stroud reflected on everything that got him to that moment. Stroud has only been competing in Special Olympics for two years, but these past two years have proven to be some of the best. From bocce to Alpine skiing, Stroud has made a point to try as many new sports as possible.

“I never thought that Chase would set foot on a set of skis,” said Stroud’s mother, Susan. “But he has dared to step out of his comfort zone because of Special Olympics. It truly has changed everything.”

After graduating high school, Stroud had trouble finding hobbies and staying active. Now that he is training in basketball, swimming, bocce and Alpine skiing, he has gotten back into shape and feels stronger than ever. It has even helped improve his ability to focus.

“I have never seen him as focused as when he’s playing bocce,” explained Susan.

As Stroud heads into the rest of the week, he’s feeling optimistic about his performance on the bocce courts. But at the end of the day, no matter what color medal he receives, Stroud will remember this experience for the rest of his life.

Check out these photos from day 2!

IN MY OWN WORDS

Hear what Seattle is like directly from Team NC!

“Meeting Dr. Shriver was amazing! He is just such a phenomenal leader.” - Olivia Rudolph, Team NC Youth Leadership Experience

“It was a lot of fun working with all my teammates and making adjustments and you could really see us improve throughout both games.” - Alex Bleuzen, Team NC flag football

“The balls were too close to tell! They kept measuring so many times I couldn’t count!” - Stephanie Silver, Team NC bocce

See the highlights:

Stay up to date with the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games by tuning into ESPN!

Cheer on Team NC by donating online today here!

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